3.45 a.m.; It’s too early for the dawn chorus proper but a song thrush is making up for it with a spirited and varied solo.
At first when I hear the disjointed snatches of song I wonder what the commotion is and I think that I pick up the brief ‘ki-wick, ki-wick, ki-wick!’ of a tawny owl.
Some parts of the song are rather more melodious so it crosses my mind that a nightingale might have returned to Coxley Valley for the first time in over a century. It’s early in the morning but even so I realise that this is unlikely and that only a song thrush could cobble together such a franticly varied stand-up routine as this.
There’s a sound-bite that reminds me of lapwing and a snatch of starling too. But it’s definitely song thrush because it keeps repeating most of its short phrases three times.
Another song thrush is answering it from two hundred yards away near the quarry. No wonder when I hear the dawn chorus proper there’s a background of birdsong that I can never quite pick up. It never sings from the same song sheet often enough for me to spot the tune.